Find Your Linux Release Info

What’s the likelihood of you not knowing which version of Linux distro you are running? It’s probably a lot higher than you expect. I’ve had to do this at least twice before. If you’re not sure or you simply want to validate your distro, you can run the following commands to get the distro info.

Ubuntu

cat /etc/lsb-release

Fedora

cat /etc/fedora-release

Debian

cat /etc/*release

OpenSuse

cat /etc/SuSE-release

In Ubuntu, running the command above returns the following info.

DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu
DISTRIB_RELEASE=10.04
DISTRIB_CODENAME=lucid
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS"

CentOS 5.6 Downloaded

I saw a couple of great articles lauding about the latest CentOS 5.6 distribution. It mentions that CentOS is a good alternative to Red Hat for smaller companies who may not need the support. It’s also free.

CentOS is of course based on Red Hat and is a favorite OS of many hosting companies. Hostgator runs on CentOS. So, this blog is actually powered by CentOS. Who would have thunk it?

So, I decided to download the latest CentOS 5.6 distro overnight. I’m now in the process of installing CentOS in VirtualBox on my desktop. I will write a follow up article reviewing CentOS 5.6.

WinFF A Free Video Converter

I spoke highly about FFMPEG in 3 separate occasions. Last night, I downloaded a program called WinFF, a Windows GUI for the command line video converter FFMPEG. The program will convert most any video file that FFmpeg will convert.

WinFF does multiple files in multiple formats at one time. You can for example convert mpeg’s, flv’s, and mov’s, all into avi’s all at once. WinFF is available for Windows 95, 98 , ME, NT, XP, VISTA, and Debian, Ubuntu, Redhat based GNU/Linux distributions.

This reason I was looking for a Windows GUI version of FFMPEG because I wanted to use Windows Movie Maker. I had a video in MPG4 format that was not supported by Windows Movie Maker. I figured I need to convert from MPG4 to WMV format.

So, I ended up downloading WinFF. The program is simple and intuitive. I was able to convert from MPG4 to WMV in no time. WinFF is an awesome program that anyone should have in their arsenal.

WinFF is published under the GNU public license. Download.

Elliot Associates Offering To Buy Novell

Red Hat and Novell are two pioneer companies who have made money from open-source. Novell with its Suse Linux distribution has received an offer from Elliot Associates to buy its stock for $5.75 per stock, a total of $1 billion dollars. Novell shares closed today at $4.75. After hours trading are above $6.

Meanwhile, Redhat’s market capitalization is at $5 billion. This is more than enough proof that companies can make money from free, open-source products.

Build RPM Packages

Here’s a nice article to get you started if you are interested in learning how to build a RPM package. If you are running a RPM-based distribution such as Redhat, Fedora, Mandriva, Caldera, Turbo Linux, and many others, this article is for you. The instructions will walk you through a step-by-step process on how to build a RPM package. Read more.

Fedora Core 6

Redhat will release Fedora Core 6 today. The Fedora website is being hammered or maybe just being updated prior to its release at 2pm today. One of the early reviews of Fedora Core 6 was written by Michael Larabel at phoronix.com while Fedora News has this press release today. If you have been trying to manually update your Linux system through yum, then good luck. It hasn’t worked for me the whole day. The Fedora servers and the bandwidth are getting killed due to the release of Fedora Core 6. Pick another day to update your system.

Favorite Desktop Linux

What’s the most popular Linux desktop? It’s Ubuntu, according to a recent DesktopLinux.com survey conducted on 15,000 Linux desktop users. I happen to use the Fedora Redhat desktop which came in at 5th place at just 7%. So, why Ubuntu? Is it hype or a cult following? Ease of use and commitment to regular releases and updates every 6 months is their main selling point. I tried Ubuntu more than a year ago, but I didn’t see anything special from this popular desktop. Maybe, it’s time to revisit Mr. Ubuntu.

Popular Linux Desktops

Continue reading

Oracle Linux

This is big. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison hinted that he may start a new Linux version. What will they call it? O’Linux. That sounds too close to be an Irish name. Ellison calls it the “bundled stack” with application and O/S rolled into one product. It’s going to be an interesting development in the coming months if this play will come to fruition. In the meantime, Redhat, Novell, Microsoft, IBM and Sun Microsystems are probably scratching their heads how this move will potentially affect their business.

Linux World 2005

I went to Linux World 2005 Exhibition today. The usual big companies were there like HP, Sun, IBM, AMD, Oracle and Sybase. Linux giants Redhat and Novell were also present along with a few companies with smaller Linux distributions.

I was a bit disappointed since I expected a bit more. Missing were the popular Slackware, Debian, Gentoo, FreeBSD, TurboLinux and Mandriva companies. Where are you guys? It was nice to see MySQL. I expected a bit more Linux gadgets, but there were few and far between. The big companies clearly dominated the Linux World Exhibition. They had the largest and best spots on the floor.

Continue reading